Gautam Gambhir is impressed with what MS Dhoni has done while serving with the Indian army on account of his honorary rank but he personally doesn’t feel defence forces need ‘any endorsement’.
Gambhir was replying to a query on the controversy over Dhoni wearing army insignia on his wicketkeeping gloves during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The issue had generated quite the heat with the International Cricket Council (ICC) ‘requesting’ the BCCI to remove the symbol.
“See, it’s fine. If he enjoys it and if it comes from within, he is absolutely right in wearing it,” Gambhir told The Indian Express. “But it should not be made into news. Honestly, I think, the Army doesn’t need any endorsement. The Army doesn’t need any marketing. I have never been in favour of honorary ranks (in defence forces) as well. I have been very vocal about it. People have given their sweat and blood to achieve that uniform. There is honorary everything, at least leave the defence services out of it…”
Dhoni, who holds an honorary rank of a lieutenant colonel with the Indian Territorial Army, recently spent around two weeks in Kashmir while serving with his unit.
“Yes, MS Dhoni has done a fabulous job, going to Kashmir, serving in the Army, hats off to him. But I will not endorse people getting honorary positions in the defence forces,” Gambhir said.
Gambhir, who played a starring role in the final of the ICC World T20 in 2007 and then ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, feels it’s time for India to look beyond Dhoni. “It is not about Dhoni staying on for the next cricket World Cup, it is about winning the next cricket World Cup. You might want to give the opportunity to Rishabh Pant or Sanju Samson, any young cricketer… They should get the opportunity… I think personally, if you ask me, I think it’s time for Indian cricket to look beyond Dhoni,” he said.